Marvel Spider Man Review : Spectacular But Not Amazing
Another few years, another new Spider Man animated series. The biggest challenge out of any superhero animated show is to show that it can do enough new yet enough of the old so older fans don’t get too alienated. This new series presents a new art style, a new setting based on a location in the recent Spider Man comics and a slew of new troubles for our favourite web head.
Spectacular had the heart , Ultimate had the superior animation quality , the MTV series had the drama and the 90s show had….. cringe humour but lets face it, its Spider Man, thats what he was known for and now this new animated series has what the 90s series aimed for, a show with full CG backgrounds. But this new show also has a more in-experienced Spider Man to show even the greatest of heroes can make mistakes at times.
The series takes place two weeks after he got bit as he takes on his first super villain, former Horizon employee Adrian Toomes better known as the Vulture. He attacks a high school, looking for some Vibranium that was being used in an invention by student Anya Corazon, as this is the power source he needs for his costume. He soon kidnaps Max Modell, who was giving a speech to the high school students to aim high in science.
This new series focuses a lot on the science to make it seem more appealing to kids, most of the previous Spider Man shows have skipped over the science of how Spider Man studied his powers closely and made his inventions to help fight crime. Another new aspect is a bigger focus on flashbacks of Uncle Ben, in previous animated series, he only appeared once or twice since they usually cover the origin in its shows. But this new series skips over the origin in favour of showing more of Ben through flashbacks that give Peter little life lessons.
The animation for this series has downgraded from Ultimate Spider Man in favour of a Voltron-ish art style with stylized CG backgrounds but it makes up for it with some decent action sequences and some expressive emotions coming from the characters thanks to its more anime style.
The last thing to talk about with this animated series is the voice work, its a mix of old and new for this series. Some old actors from previous Spider Man media do make a return like Ben Diskin ( Venom in Spectacular Spider Man) as Alistar Smythe, Josh Keaton ( Spider Man in Spectacular Spider Man, Marvel vs Capcom 3) as Norman Osborn, Laura Bailey ( Black Widow in Marvel Media) as Gwen Stacy and Fred Tatasciore ( Hulk in all Marvel media) as Max Modell.
In terms of new, we have Robbie Daymond as Peter Parker/Spider Man, while mainly known for anime dubs, he gives Spider Man a dorkier yet more nerdy approach compared to Keaton or Drake Bell who went for more dramatic and more goofball. Patton Oswalt as Uncle Ben is the only real celebrity in this show honestly and hearing him in this series made me think of Ratatouille and Kim Possible. Max Mittleman as Harry Osborn was also a good choice for the best friend character and the most confusing casting choice is Scott Menville as Otto Octavius. Its basically his Robin voice coming out of a chubby red haired younger adult.
While not the best Spider Man series out there, it is still miles better than previous attempts by Sony and Marvel Animation excluding Spectacular Spider Man which is still regarded as the highest rated Spider Man show amongst its fans, it is the perfect way to get children into the Spider Man franchise with a high action and colourful series. Older audiences however will not see much out of it after the reputation of Ultimate Spider Man had soiled the franchise for them.